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Amherstburg Freedom Museum hosts latest in speaker series program

Gary Archibald, CTV Windsor meteorologist and reporter talks to crowd.

Students from schools within Windsor-Essex County converged on the Amherstburg Freedom Museum last week for the latest in the “Freedom Achievers” speaker series and mentorship program.

Gary Archibald, CTV Windsor meteorologist and reporter, was the guest speaker in the museum’s “Freedom Achievers” mentorship program which included the “Achieving Freedom in the 21st Century” speaker series.

Archibald told students, teachers and guests assembled that if there is suffering in a person’s life, there is usually an answer to it. He indicated there is help for those “to find your way out of the darkness” and on the road to wellness.

Noting he has “a very strong Christian faith,” Archibald said when he lived in New York, he had an opportunity to advance to CNN but chose to be closer to his family

“You have to ask yourself what is your motivation,” he said.

Society often focuses on such things as popularity, fame and wealth, but Archibald asked “where is the humanity?”

“Where are your foundations?” he asked. “Where are your virtues? What do you bring to the table?”

Archibald recalled moving between careers because he followed an opportunity, and encouraged students to be open to them.

“One door opened because I allowed myself to push open the door,” he said.

Students were also urged to be polite and respectful to others.

Encountering racism was something he noted that he and his family have faced. While living in New York, he recalled being told by a person who stepped out of a limousine that “the bags are in the back.” When he was a child living in Oshawa, he recalled his mother being confronted with racist stereotypes while at work.

“You don’t have to lower yourself to them,” he told the students. “Rise above that. Raise yourself up because no one is going to do it for you.”

Asked what roadblocks he has faced, Archibald said he was the biggest one to himself. He said dealing with deaths in his family was tough but you have to eventually get on with your life.

Mentorship has been huge to him, he added, and he encouraged students to follow their dreams.

“If you want to be a doctor, do it,” said Archibald. “I have cousins who are doctors. They had to work at it, but they did it.”

The Freedom Achievers Mentorship Program is presented in partnership with the Amherstburg Community Foundation and with support from the Canadian government, the museum states.

The Freedom Achievers Mentorship Program connects successful achievers with mentees at sessions where mentors can provide insight into career options and interact with mentees, in addition to a high-profile speaker series, museum assistant curator Lorene Bridgen-Lennie stated in a news release.

“Through the Freedom Achievers Program, we want to provide mentees with insights and tools that will assist them in creating a path to success, while highlighting examples of achievement,” the release added.

Amherstburg Freedom Series hosts latest in speaker series

By Ron Giofu


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